The One BMW Chris Bangle Got Right
If you don’t know who Chris Bangle is (or was), he was the chief designer for BMW from 1992-2009. His Z9 Gran Turismo concept shaped designs for the 3-series (E90-93), 5-series (E60), 6-series (E63/64), 7-series (E65-68), X3, X5, and X6.
But in this sea of Bangle Bimmers, there’s one that stands out, the (E85) Z4. At first, it was not well received among BMW enthusiasts or the general public. Other than being available as a roadster or coupe, it retained little from the Z3 and at the time, it looked a bit strange and the headlights & taillights departed from everything BMW.
Details like the BMW badge & sidemarker placed on somewhat of a random edge, a big, fat nose, and lines that go places other cars hadn’t gone yet.
But it had something we hadn’t seen on cars for a long time, curves complimented by edges. Back around 2002 (when the Z4 was first introduced), car design was much softer than it is now and there’s no doubt that Bangle had a huge effect on the rest of the car industry.
The Z4 is no beauty pageant winner by any means and there’s no doubt that it could have looked better, but the car has become a bit charming over time. It’s muscular, sporty, edgy, has a long hood, wide stance, good proportions and unlike most BMWs, it’s fun & funky. But best of all it’s unique and it’s aging like a good wine (although it’s only 10 years old).
For a BMW, it’s a bit of an outcast, and that’s why it’s such a cool car.